Name: Cyntoia Brown Long
Victim: Johnny Michael Allen, 43
Age at time of murder: 16
Crime location: Nashville
Crime date: August 7, 2004
Crimes: Robbery, murder, & theft
Weapon: .40 caliber handgun
Murder method: Gunshot to the head while the victim was asleep
Murder motivation: Robbery and thrill
Convictions: First-degree murder, felony murder, and aggravated robbery
Sentence: Life with parole after 51 years
Incarceration status: Released
Brown shot Johnny Allen in the head as he slept in his bed. The real estate agent and youth minister was later found lying on his right side with his arms folded underneath and his fingers interlocked. After murdering Johnny, Brown stole his firearms, money, and truck. She was arrested and charged and later convicted of robbery and murder. She was sentenced to 51 years to life but was released after serving 15 years after Tennessee governor Bill Haslam granted her clemency. The movement to free Brown was based on the lie that she killed Johnny in self-defense. This lie is thoroughly debunked here. To summarize, the position in which Johnny’s body was found shows that he was asleep when he was shot. Brown told several people that she killed Johnny to rob him and to see what it felt like to kill someone. She also laughed, joked, and bragged about the murder. Since being released, Brown has become a cause celebre for the movement to end juvenile life without parole (JLWOP). NOVJM asks that people look at the facts of the case and remember Brown’s dead victim Johnny.
On the night of August 6, 2004, Johnny picked Brown up and took her to his home. Later, in the early morning hours of August 7, Brown shot Johnny in the head as he slept with a .40-caliber handgun. She then stole $172 from Johnny’s wallet and two of his firearms and left in Johnny’s truck. She later admitted to several people that the murder was motivated by robbery and the desire to “just to see how it felt to kill somebody.”
Brown was convicted of robbing and murdering Johnny Allen and subsequently sentenced to life with parole after 51 years. She was released in 2019 after Tennessee governor Bill Haslam granted her clemency.
Brown’s release came about after a national movement to free her was started. Brown has become a cause celebre for anti-JLWOP activists. Such activists claim that Brown shot Johnny in self-defense after she thought he was reaching for a gun. They also claim that Johnny was a sex-trafficker and a rapist who deserved his fate. But this is not true. As explained in detail on our lies about specific cases page , Brown shot Johnny as he slept for the purpose of robbing him. The evidence is overwhelming; Johnny’s body was found lying in a sleeping position on the right side with his arms folded underneath and his fingers interlocked; Brown told a neighbor that the killing was a “fat lick” (robbery) and that she had been “waiting on a lick like that all week.”; She laughed and joked on the phone about the murder; She admitted to her mother that she “executed” Johnny; She attacked a nurse and yelled “I shot that man in the back of the head, and bitch, I’m gonna shoot you three times in the back of the head and would love to see your blood splatter on the wall.”; She admitted to jail cellmates that she made the self-defense story up and that she had killed Johnny “just to see how it felt to kill somebody.”
Different descriptions from the killer and from law enforcement? Not surprising. See a sympathetic documentary portrait of this teen killer’s story. But 16 year old Cyntoia Brown murdered Real Estate Agent Johnny Allen reportedly “for the thrill of it”.
One blogger involved with the making of the film says this, “Whether this was a sexual transaction gone awry between a 16-year-old girl desperate for money and scared of being killed or, as friends and family of the victim have claimed, the slaying of a good Samaritan, we will never know. . . What we know is Johnny Allen was found in his bed, naked and shot in the back of the head and 16 year old Brown was tried as an adult, convicted and facing life in prison. . .Cyntoia was fiery, sarcastic, smart and desperate for attention. The first time we scripted scenes that would be videotaped, Cyntoia made a point of informing the group that some day she would star in a movie–about her. Given her charismatic personality, there was little doubt this was true.”
Read about the evidence in Johnny Allen’s murder case here: